Sen. Jeff Merkle (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) raised concerns about Airbnb’s business activities in the Xinjiang region of China. Letter To the CEO of the company on Friday.
Why this matters: An investigation by Nerdshala last year revealed that Airbnb had more than a dozen homes available for rent in Xinjiang, an organization sanctioned by the US government for complicity in genocide and forced labor against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in that region. Available on land owned by
Catch up quickly: Nerdshala also identified 14 Airbnb listings on land owned by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a large paramilitary organization that controls vast areas of Xinjiang’s land, natural resources and economy, and was approved by the US Treasury Department. has been approved.
- Airbnb, one of the 14 top-level sponsors of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, said it believes the approval does not apply to these listings.
- Merkle and McGovern are respectively chair and co-chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which was created in 2000 to oversee the development of human rights and the rule of law in the country.
What are they saying: “We write to express concern over Airbnb’s commercial activities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and to raise questions about Airbnb’s commitment to human rights and anti-discrimination in China as it sponsors the Beijing Winter Olympics.” Merkle and McGovern wrote a letter addressed to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.
- “While Airbnb continues to maintain the listing in XUAR, it has not publicly condemned the genocide there, or other serious, systematic human rights abuses being committed against ethnic minorities in China,” he said. said.
- “It continues to operate even in a country whose laws require hosts to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, place of origin or lack of a passport, when the ability to obtain passports is impossible for people of certain ethnic groups.” Might be possible.”
big picture: The lawmakers called on the company to disclose whether it is taking action to address human rights violations in Xinjiang and China as a whole.
- He also questioned whether the company will ensure that no future listings are located on assets owned by the XPCC or other entities approved by the US Treasury.
- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) criticized Airbnb in a letter to the company in December, saying it was “indirectly supporting and encouraging travel to Xinjiang” by continuing to allow listings. hosts an ongoing massacre”.
go in: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on approved group-owned land